Association of Personal Injury Lawyers
A not-for-profit organisation representing injured people

Civil justice reforms must be ‘right, not rushed’

07 Feb 2019
APIL news

Injured people could be held to ransom in a system that does not work if the Government rushes to implement new reforms before they are ready, a leading lawyer warned today.


Brett Dixon, president of APIL, was speaking at a Westminster Legal Policy Forum event today in a session about the impact of civil litigation reform. He told attendees that: “The critical thing is to ensure that the new system for whiplash injuries in the Civil Liability Act works – however long that takes.”


“Injured people must not be held to ransom by the Government’s 2020 deadline for the introduction of these tariffs if the system does not work,” said Brett. “The process available must help them, and to do that it must work fairly and efficiently. At the moment, it does neither.”


Mr Dixon also expressed concerns about how compensation will be paid to people with life-changing injuries. Lump sums, subject to the discount rate, must be calculated on the basis of need, he said. Problems with the system of payment by instalments (known as periodical payment orders or PPOs) also need to be addressed.


“The Civil Justice Council has been asked to look into this which is good news,” he said. “But again, the timing will be critical. If the Government is determined to make changes let’s get them done properly and make sure we have a new way of using PPOs at the same time as changes to the discount rate are introduced. Let’s at least get this right.”


Notes to editors:

  • Brett Dixon’s full speech is available here.
  • APIL (Association of Personal Injury Lawyers) is a not-for-profit organisation whose members are dedicated to campaigning for improvements in the law to help people who are injured or become ill through no fault of their own.
  • For more information contact APIL's communications manager Jane Hartwell on t: 0115 943 5416, e:, or press and communications officer Lizzy Freeman t: 0115 943 5431, e:
  • Visit the association's website at
  • Follow @APIL on Twitter:

Past press releases

Time to correct Hillsborough’s legacy, say lawyers, 18 Apr 2019
Compensation lottery for bereaved families, 11 Apr 2019
Government abandons full compensation for injured people, 23 Oct 2018
Extra pressure on NHS if Civil Liability Bill goes ahead, 03 Sep 2018
Bereaved relatives deserve fairness, 31 Aug 2018
Cut whiplash injuries with the headrest test, 15 Aug 2018
Grieving parents of stillborn babies fight for answers, 22 Jun 2018
Lawyers call for outright ban on cold calling for personal injury in Scotland, 01 Jun 2018

More past press releases

Head of Public Affairs
Lorraine Gwinnutt
0115 943 5400

Communications Manager
Jane Hartwell
0115 943 5416

Press & Communications Officer
Lizzy Freeman
0115 943 5431